How to Deal with Financial Difficulties as a Student

Financial difficulties can be extremely worrying as a student. They may affect your ability to focus on your studies and continue your time at the university or college of your choice. In order to prevent financial difficulties from overwhelming you halfway into your studies, here are some of the steps that you can take toward dealing with and overcoming them in the 2021 academic year. 

Look Into Hardship Funds

However, most universities and colleges have financial advisors and finance departments that can help you organize your finances and give you a variety of options that can help you stay at the university regardless of your financial situation. For instance, many universities offer students facing financial difficulties a hardship fund. This fund can help to keep you going when you are far into your overdraft and will allow you to keep your finances afloat for longer. To get this fund, you should schedule an appointment with the finance team at your university as soon as possible. If you predict that you will find yourself in financial difficulty before you go to university or college, you may be able to apply for certain grants before you even leave home. 

Get a Part-Time Job

If you need some extra cash to help you pay your bills and fund your nights out, you should consider applying for part-time jobs in your area. As you progress through your studies, it is unlikely that you will have more than a few contact hours per week, especially if your course is currently focused on your dissertation or independent study. This gives you plenty of time between your lectures and seminars to head to a part-time job, where you can earn the money that you need to support yourself. SavetheStudent has collated some of the best part-time jobs that students can find at the start of the new term. However, you should make sure that this job does not distract you from your studies and that you still have enough time to complete all of your assignments. Some courses may even recommend that you avoid taking on a part-time job, where possible. 

Apply for Grants

You might be able to apply for grants, even if you are halfway through your studies. Grants are given by the university itself and give extra funding to people who meet certain criteria. These criteria could be anything, from coming from a low-income background, having a parent who works in a certain field, being a mature student, or taking a certain course, such as healthcare or teaching. 

Speak to Your Landlord

One of the main issues when you run out of money as a student is being able to afford your rent, especially if you are staying in private accommodation. While it may be easy to contact your university’s accommodation provider about any late payments, and these usually come out of your student loan directly, it can be harder to speak to your landlord about any problems you are having in getting the money you need together. However, in most cases, student landlords will be lenient or will allow you to pay your rent when you receive your next loan installment. This is not always the case, though. So, before you speak to your landlord, you should plan exactly what you are going to say and make sure that you know your rights while renting out their property. 

Short Term Loans

If you are struggling with financial difficulties as a student, you might consider taking out a short-term loan. This is a possibility as long as you have some sort of income (e.g. from a part time job) but this should be a last resort and you would need to be confident you can and will meet all of the loan repayments, as failure to repay a loan can lead to further financial difficulties. If you do decide to go down this route, it may be a good idea to use an FCA regulated loan broker to try and get the best APR available to you and your personal financial circumstances.

Cut Your Costs

As a student, although it is unlikely that you will be making a large income, you will not have as many fixed costs as other people living independently. For instance, you will be splitting your bills between multiple people and will usually not have a vehicle to run. So, once you have paid your rent and your student loan, the majority of your costs may be spent on fun and luxuries. It can be difficult to manage your money in the first years of being a student, especially if you have never had to do so before. So, you should find ways to better manage your money and cut your unnecessary expenditure. For instance, you should cook at home more often, attend free events or societies, and consider walking or taking the transport put on by your university rather than public transport or taxis. If you are struggling to cut down on your costs, you should consider downloading a finance tracking app that will allow you to see and manage what you are spending at all times. 

Many students deal with money problems before they leave university or college, especially if your student loan covers less than you imagined. You may encounter these issues even if you previously believe that you were financially savvy. However, these issues do not mean that you will have to return back to your hometown and abandon your degree. Although being in financial difficulty can be stressful for students, it is not usually the end of the world, and there are plenty of steps that you can take to get you back on your feet and which can ensure that you stay financially afloat enough to pour most of your energy into your studies and achieve academic success, and with that success carve a great career for yourself. 

When is the Right Time to Update Your Education?

For some people, the right college education can last a lifetime. A degree in something like art, or literature can go a long way, particularly if you find yourself getting a career in your chosen niche. However, as the world continues to evolve and new jobs appear on the market, you may eventually find that your degree is a little outdated, or irrelevant. If you’ve been wondering whether it’s the right time to update both your skillset and your resume, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to look at the things that you need to think about when deciding when to update your schooling. 

When You Can Afford the Extra Tuition

Education is an important part of getting to wherever you want to be in life. Unfortunately, it can also be quite expensive to earn a degree in your chosen field. Depending on how much of an update you need to invest in, you might need to apply for loans and grants all over again. If you’re concerned about the costs of going back to school, make sure you do some budgeting first. Start by seeing whether you can refinance your student loans from the last time you went to college. This will save you some much-needed cash off your monthly bills. After you’re done with that, look into other ways that you might be able to cut back in your budget. For instance, can you move to a smaller house, or drive a smaller, more efficient car?

When You’re Missing Out on Opportunities

Sometimes, you might feel as though you have the same skills as everyone else on your team, but you’re missing out on opportunities and promotions just because you don’t have the right words on your resume. If a lot of things in your industry have changed since you got your first degree, now is the perfect time to think about whether you can boost your chances of success with an update. Renewing your degree or accessing some extra training on the side could be all you need to do to grab the attention of your boss, and any future employers too. If you think that you’re getting overlooked because you just don’t have the right credentials anymore, think about how you can make your resume more impressive

When You’re Getting Lost

Finally, a big indicator that you may need to update your degree, is that you just don’t feel confident in your career anymore. Perhaps your team have started to use some new processes or strategies that are familiar for younger employees – but completely alien to you. In some cases, you’ll be able to catch up by signing up for a mentor program or taking some other training sessions. However, if you feel like the world is moving on without you, then you might feel more comfortable if you devote yourself to some extra education instead. Going back to school might be a time-consuming process, but it’s also a way to refine your skills and help you to regain any of the confidence that you’re missing.